The Big Cost of Cutting Arts Education- Maker Space Ideas

The Big Cost of Cutting Arts Education- Maker Space Ideas

Maker Space Ideas can help solve gaps in education for your kids.

Education costs a lot of money, and school districts all over the United States are slashing budgets for arts education.  Are your kids being affected? Implementing some home maker space ideas can really benefit your kids.

The Cost for them and their futures is high – there are many benefits to gaining depth of knowledge and becoming a life-long learner.

kids and art in the homeParents can do something.  Here are some Maker Space Ideas.

Most people today recognize how important it is for the children and for our country. To maximize learning in STEM subjects : Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Originated by the Rhode Island School of Design, the concept of adding Art to STEM to create STEAM has been gaining more and more ground.

There are a few gigantic advantages to STEAM.  Maker Spaces help implement STEAM.  You can put in a Home Maker Space, especially if your school is not doing it for your child.

Maker Space Design for the Home

Implementing Home Maker Space ideas will give your family many benefits

Implementing Home Maker Space ideas will give your family many benefits

What if your school system is one where the budget for the arts is being slashed? What if your school is not in front of the times with implementing STEAM? How do you provide home-based opportunities for your child to have the benefits of the arts in education and help to improve student academic performance for the best possible life outcomes?

You can easily make a maker space in your own home. It can be as small as a table with some storage in a corner of the bedroom, to turning the whole playroom or den into a home maker space.

Some key considerations:

  • Your budget
  • Your family interests and talents
  • The tools needed
  • The surface needed
  • Storage Considerations
  • Sources of inspiration

Your budget will clearly define whether you will be adding a 3 D printer or whether you are going to have a saw and some wood pieces and a glue gun, or be oriented to making collages of boxes and household plastic and bits of fabric.

Yes, the more tools you are able to provide, the more possibilities exist for your child to make and do things in his exploration. At the same time, there are design challenges in using limited material too. Don't give up the idea just because money is an issue! Your child is worth your being creative with your home maker space!

woodworking tools in home maker spaceYour Family Interests Define the Tools Needed

Do you know about woodworking, or is that an interest? If your child is a little one, with whom you will be participating in projects, it will be good to encourage something that you know or want to know.

Are you interested in fabrics, and sewing?

What about making a fairy house out of natural materials?

Are you interested in designing and making plastics like electronics holders, or chip bag clips, or any number of endless possibilities with a 3D printer? What about making robots?3D Printing in home maker space

When planning the maker space for your home, the interests will define the tools you will need.

From screwdrivers to 3D printers to a soldering iron to work with electronics, you will need to come up with a start and then build a tool list, designed just for your child/ren.

Storage for Tools and Materials

One thing you'll want is to have a good storage solution. See Annie's Tips on Setting up an Art Studio for some ideas on finding room for your Maker Space. An Art Cart can be very useful if you have the room and the budget.

Flat items can be stored behind the work table. Plastic storage bins can be useful for like-type objects such as recyclables, or screws and nails, or project boxes. You do not want to have much on the work space area, as clutter will prevent being able to make things!

(You will find links on this and other posts on Annie's Tips, that take you either to other pages on the website or to products I have found and recommend. 

If you buy a product on any of those outside sites, Annie's Tips will get a small commission that helps to support this site.  Our getting a commission does not increase your cost, and we always look for the lowest cost for you for any of these products. 

If there is something you want to buy, we appreciate your using our links to do so.  Let me thank you now for your support.)

clean work space room for creative Steam workPlan to have only one or two very frequently used items on the table itself. If you have a sewing machine that will be used constantly, perhaps that will remain out. Or a 3 D printer. Having a place for a home computer screen attached to the wall can be good to keep it out of the way, and yet easily accessible for project research and inspirational ideas, and instruction.

A peg board is very useful to store screwdrivers, scissors, glue guns, saws, and masking tape. A shelf or small cabinet may be good for storage of plastic rolls for the printer, paper, glue sticks. You can put sonic tubes for long slender items to keep them neat.

Keep in mind that your child is not likely to maintain detailed storage of items such as pencils, pens, erasers and paintbrushes in separate spaces. They are likely to get jumbled together.

Yet, having some sort of order will make it easier to find and use materials. Having a sonic tube for pencils and brushes together, a drawer or bin for all recycled materials, another for all the Lego, and another for all the Little Bits will be conducive to some order and ease of use.

Little Bits Maker Space GizmosInspiration

Little Bits are really cool additions for your Home Maker Space.  You can plug them into one another, and add other materials to them. There is both instant feedback and gratification as well as almost infinite possibilities with them as you and your children explore robotics.  Check them out on Amazon.

There are some readily available sources of inspiration both in books and online. You can buy how to craft books and magazines, or check them out of your local library.

Google Images is a good way to search online, rather than with words, as the images will help you find what you want to make. Pinterest searches by some keyword, such as collage or cork art, can help find a project idea.

Your kid(s) is worth the time and investment to make a home Maker Space.  I recommend you get going!  Let me know what you come up with.  You may inspire some other people.  I am crazy about the ideas of Little Bits and 3D Printers and what they can inspire your kids to make and invent.

makerspace ideas


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Published by Annie Collyer

Annie is a mom of four, a business owner and blogger. She and her husband live in New Hampshire, where they are both active volunteers in their community school district. She writes about designing our lives with proven design thinking principles. Join her in creating the life we each want.

  • Brianne says:

    This is a very informative post, thank you so much! To me the arts are very important, and is in fact my field of study. I was lucky to have parents who were very supportive in my desires to pursue the arts over other STEM subjects. I know not all children are that lucky. Why do you think there is so much emphasis on STEM studies and why do you think that for some people there is a stigma associated with the pursuit of the arts?

    • You are very lucky to have had such support from your parents, Brianne.  I believe there is so much emphasis on STEM because of the economic benefits worldwide, and because US scores lag many parts of the world.  I suspect the ‘starving artist’ realities has to do with any possible stigma associated with this study.  Since No Child Left Behind, Art has been moved to the mainstream of education as co-equal with reading and STEM, but the reality is that it is not a funding priority in most areas of the country.  Fortunately, we can get the best of both worlds as more and more STEAM is implemented. You may want to check out this post for more discussion of this issue. 

      Thank you for visiting, and for your remarks.

  • JennH says:

    This is right up my alley. I’m enjoy the Arts and Sciences, but the Arts are my favorite, both Liberal and Fine. I like the idea of STEAM. Schools have become so hardcore STEM that there’s barely any room for kids to be exposed to the Arts anymore, let alone take an interest and focus on them. STEAM is primarily STEM oriented, but it gives kids a taste of the Arts. The STEM only approach is basically like the tracking system which was practiced decades ago, where kids were put on academic tracks based on what school advisers thought they would be good at. So they were only placed in classes that pertained to that particular trade or profession, meaning if they really had an interest in something else, they graduated with no education, knowledge or training in that area. It’s not fair for a kid to be sent to a STEM school simply because it’s in their neighborhood school zone, when that child has the potential and possibly the desire to get a full scholarship to Juilliard. They’ll never know because they weren’t given the opportunity or the instruction. STEAM allows room for the Arts in a STEM driven world, and doesn’t make artists feel isolated or left out.

    • Jenn, I love your strong advocacy of STEAM.  I completely agree that adding Arts to STEM gives kids more options.  And makes STEM subjects more accessible to more kids.  Hands-on creative use of information learned in a STEM class with creative application of concepts and in-depth investigation and experimentation and innovation, especially in collaboration with others like in “real life” can happen when Arts are added.  The Maker Space is a key component to that.  Vickey wrote an article reviewing 3 D Printers for Home Maker Spaces to help those parents who want Arts added to STEM for their kids, but it is either not happening at their schools or not as much as they want.  Kids and their parents can do a lot with 3D Printers and they are becoming so affordable, soon as many homes as have computers will have one.  Plus the payback for the investments is estimated to be $300 to $2000 per year, for only 20 items printed!  That is above and beyond the benefit to your kids!

  • Teresa says:

    I think that the move to place art in the same categories as STEM is really important for any parent or educator and it would definitely enhance STEM learning.
    Art and creativity is clearly visible in most fields of work these days and children should be encouraged to take it up.
    I really liked your tips on how to make art space in your home and would look at this for future use. Thanks for the post!

    • Thanks, Teresa.  Our children are our future.  We need to do all we can as parents to enhance their ability to succeed in life.  I really believe home maker spaces are a part of this, especially with the struggling school budgets that keep cutting into the arts.  

      Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time and effort to comment.  

  • Michelle says:

    Hello Annie,
    This was a very interesting article. I love the concept of creativity. I think our ‘young minds’ need to creAtive and allow their brains and minds to flourish. It does not take much to achieve this.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Brittaney Verkuyl says:

    I can’t wait to implement this into my house. I love the idea of my kids having the ability to create and explore.

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